AD is a public health epidemic, which seriously impacts cognition, mood and daily activities; however, one type of activity, exercise, has been shown to alter these states. Accordingly, we sought to investigate the relationship between exercise and mood, in early-stage AD patients (N=104) from California, over a 1-year period. Patients completed the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE), Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS), and Blessed-Roth Dementia Rating Scale (BRDRS), while their caregivers completed the Yale Physical Activity Survey (YALE), Profile of Mood States (POMS), the Neuropsychiatric Inventory (NPI) and Functional Abilities Questionnaire (FAQ). Approximately half of the participants were female, from a variety of ethnic groups (Caucasian=69.8%; Latino/Hispanic Americans=20.1%). Our results demonstrated that the patients spent little time engaged in physical activity in general, their overall activity levels decreased over time, and this was paired with a change in global cognition (e.g., MMSE total score) and affect/mood (e.g., POMS score). Patients were parsed into Active and Sedentary groups based on their Yale profiles, with Active participants engaged in walking activities, weekly, over 1 year. Here, Sedentary patients had a significant decline in MMSE scores, while the Active patients had an attenuation in global cognitive decline. Importantly, among the Active AD patients, those individuals who engaged in walking for more than 2h/week had a significant improvement in MMSE scores. Structured clinical trials which seek to increase the amount of time AD patients were engaged in walking activities and evaluate the nature and scope of beneficial effects in the brain are warranted.
"Exercise is known to raise free radical content and can precondition against ischemia (Frasier et al. 2011; Powers et al. 2011; Zhang et al. 2011). Many studies have supported the long-term benefits of exercise in humans, even in Alzheimer's and Parkinson's patients (Chen et al. 2005; Xu et al. 2010; Erickson et al. 2012; Mayeux and Stern 2012; Fisher et al. 2013; Intlekofer and Cotman 2013; Winchester et al. 2013). Animal studies have also shown convincingly that exercise is protective in experimental models of neurodegeneration (for some examples, see Adlard et al. 2005; Nichol et al. 2009; Pothakos et al. 2009; Zigmond et al. 2009; Gerecke et al. 2010; Vuckovic et al. 2010; Intlekofer and Cotman 2013; Souza et al. 2013). "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Although severe stress can elicit toxicity, mild stress often elicits adaptations. Here we review the literature on stress-induced adaptations versus stress sensitization in models of neurodegenerative diseases. We also describe our recent findings that chronic proteotoxic stress can elicit adaptations if the dose is low but that high-dose proteotoxic stress sensitizes cells to subsequent challenges. In these experiments, long-term, low-dose proteasome inhibition elicited protection in a superoxide dismutase-dependent manner. In contrast, acute, high-dose proteotoxic stress sensitized cells to subsequent proteotoxic challenges by eliciting catastrophic loss of glutathione. However, even in the latter model of synergistic toxicity, several defensive proteins were upregulated by severe proteotoxicity. This led us to wonder whether high-dose proteotoxic stress can elicit protection against subsequent challenges in astrocytes, a cell type well known for their resilience. In support of this new hypothesis, we found that the astrocytes that survived severe proteotoxicity became harder to kill. The adaptive mechanism was glutathione dependent. If these findings can be generalized to the human brain, similar endogenous adaptations may help explain why neurodegenerative diseases are so delayed in appearance and so slow to progress. In contrast, sensitization to severe stress may explain why defenses eventually collapse in vulnerable neurons.
"Improving blood flow by exercise, healthy eating, or using dietary supplements may also be effective for preventing AD. Substantial evidence demonstrates an association between physical activity and improvement of cognitive decline in AD [93–95]. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder that leads to memory deficits and death. While the number of individuals with AD is rising each year due to the longer life expectancy worldwide, current therapy can only somewhat relieve the symptoms of AD. There is no proven medication to cure or prevent the disease, possibly due to a lack of knowledge regarding the molecular mechanisms underlying disease pathogenesis. Most previous studies have accepted the "amyloid hypothesis," in which the neuropathogenesis of AD is believed to be triggered by the accumulation of the toxic amyloid beta (A β ) protein in the central nervous system (CNS). Lately, knowledge that may be critical to unraveling the hidden pathogenic pathway of AD has been revealed. This review concentrates on the toxicity of A β and the mechanism of accumulation of this toxic protein in the brain of individuals with AD and also summarizes recent advances in the study of these accumulation mechanisms together with the role of herbal medicines that could facilitate the development of more effective therapeutic and preventive strategies.
Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine 05/2013; 2013(3):413808. DOI:10.1155/2013/413808 · 1.88 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The purpose of this article is to describe the conceptual model and implementation strategies of an evidence-based, aquatic exercise program specifically targeting individuals with dementia-The Watermemories Swimming Club (WSC). Physical exercise not only improves the functional capacity of people with dementia but also has significant effects on other aspects of quality of life such as sleep, appetite, behavioral and psychological symptoms, depression, and falls. Additionally, exercise can improve a person's overall sense of well-being and positively enhance their sociability. The WSC was designed to increase physical exercise while being easy to implement, safe, and pleasurable. Many challenges were faced along the way, and we discuss how these were overcome. Implications for nurses are also provided.
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